Various church leaders have given their backing to a Christian bookshop owner’s campaign to put Jesus back at the centre of Easter.
Julie Carvill, who runs the small bookshop in Co Wicklow, created the ‘Happy Easter Egg’ after reading about a survey a few years ago that found nearly half of British schoolchildren didn’t know the true meaning of Easter.
And last year, Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as “absolutely ridiculous” a decision to drop the word Easter from a Cadbury and National Trust egg hunt.
The competition was called the “Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt”. This year, the National Trust has restored the word Easter, after organising over 250 “Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts”.
In response to what she sees as the growing secularisation of Easter, Julie Carvill has created an Easter egg that comes with a booklet telling the true story of Easter in easy-to-read rhyme and with great illustrations.
Her ‘Happy Easter Egg’ has been backed by leading figures from the Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, and the Catholic Church in Ireland.
The Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller, said: “The truth of the resurrection of Jesus, which we celebrate at Easter, is right at the heart of the Christian gospel.
“That Christ is risen and sin and death are defeated is the Good News for all people.
“That’s why Easter is so important for Christians worldwide.”
He added: “Of course the Easter Egg represents new life and new birth, so the Happy Easter Egg is a perfect way to share the resurrection story.”
Rev Dr Heather Morris, who was President of the Methodist Church in Ireland from 2013 to 2014, said: “I think the Happy Easter Egg is wonderful because it explains the real meaning of Easter for everyone.”
Julie Carvill said: “I read some years ago about a survey taken where they’d asked schoolchildren what Easter was about. There were quite a few of them who said it was the Easter Bunny’s birthday.
“Just recently I walked down the isle in one of the local supermarkets where they had all the Easter eggs, and you wouldn’t have known it had anything to do with Jesus. In fact, not one of them even had the word ‘Easter’ on them.”
She continued: “The Happy Easter Egg is about telling the true story of Easter in a way that children can easily understand.”
To find out more, visit www.happyeasteregg.ie